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Devaluation of dignity What Ukraine has achieved in seven years after the Euromaidan

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The Russian liberal opinion-forming daily Kommersant devoted an article on the balance sheet of the Maidan on the occasion of the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the events in this Ukrainian square



The next, already the seventh, anniversary of the Euromaidan in Ukraine was met somehow unusually quietly, without the usual high-profile actions and events with the participation of top officials of the state. Why?

Yuri Tkachev, Odessa

The epidemic, of course, leaves its mark on almost everything. So, the head of state, Volodymyr Zelensky, who at that time was still on self-isolation in connection with the coronavirus, limited himself to recording another video message, in which he stated that Euromaidan will always be a symbol of what, we quote, “in defining times of history, the main and decisive word is always will not be for politicians, but for the Ukrainian people. "

The traditional procession in the center of Kiev this time also turned out to be not crowded. And even Mustafa Nayem, who became famous seven years ago for his legendary call to go out to the Maidan with "umbrellas and good mood", on his Facebook almost did not hide some regret over what was happening. “Today many will talk about disappointment and revenge. We perceive losses, threats and fears more sharply than hopes, achievements and victories. I will not hide the fact that I also see signs of a rollback, ”the politician complains. However, in the end, Nayem is convinced, in 2013-2014 it was not in vain. “Years later, I am even more confident - if on that chilly rainy evening we had not taken to the streets and had not fought back, there would have been much more killed, crippled and lost lives,” he convinces his readers.

Many other political bloggers did not miss the opportunity to emphasize their skepticism about the events of seven years ago. “Today you can drink without clinking glasses for a day of honor and freedom,” says Aleksandr Dubinsky, People's Deputy from the Servant of the People. “Where is Crimea? Where is Donbass? Where is the dignity? Where are the European values? Where is the standard of living, at least 2013? Where is there anything at all, because of what they stood, killed and died? Where is it all? " - his colleague Maxim Buzhansky is interested. "The holiday is exhausted, that's it, grandma has arrived," he sums up the celebrations in another publication.

Not up to memories

Here it should be borne in mind that modern citizens of Ukraine have enough topics for discussion and in addition to endless and generally fruitless reflections on the events of seven years ago. In the courtyard of 2020, the coronavirus epidemic is in full swing, another lockdown is on the agenda, which will surely strike a powerful blow in the gut of an already not prosperous economy. For those who are tired of the coronavirus as a topic for discussion, the Ukrainian news agenda offers other issues. If you want - the complexity of the relationship with the IMF, refusing to give the second part of the loan promised in exchange for opening the land market. If you want - a quiet, but not at all settled conflict between President Zelensky and the Constitutional Court. Want - the results of the local elections on October 25. And if you want - the conflicts between Kiev and Transcarpathia, too intently looking towards Hungary. It got to the point that the newly elected deputies of the Syurt Rural United Territorial Community opened their first session with the performance of the national anthem of the neighboring state. On this occasion, the SBU has already been aroused and (very useful for the anniversary of the Euromaidan) what remains of the once super-influential Right Sector (the organization is banned in the Russian Federation - "O").

Against the background of all these fresh events unfolding right before our eyes here and now, even the most epochal accomplishments of seven years ago involuntarily fade, and this is an inevitable process. On the other hand, if we analyze the Euromaidan and its consequences in essence, then the picture turns out to be completely bleak.

The key, or rather, the initial demand of the "Maidanists", however, has been generally fulfilled. The Association Agreement with the EU has been signed and even the longed-for visa-free travel has been received. Moreover, in the situation with visa-free travel, the reality even approximately corresponded to expectations: trips to Europe (at least for vacation, at least for earnings) really became simpler and more affordable, albeit with a creak, but Western airlines like RyanAir and WizzAir reached out to Ukraine ... But was it worth it all that Ukraine lost as a result of Euromaidan?

They counted - wept

They expected from the association with the EU a rapid growth in trade with the European Union. The result was more than modest. Yes, the volume of exports to the EU has grown from 17 to 26 billion US dollars over the past 7 years. However, the "additional" 9 billion in exports is clearly fading amid a decrease of 19 billion (from 25 to 6 billion) in trade with the EU.

Hopes for an influx of European and Western investments into the Ukrainian economy also did not come true, and even more so. At the end of 2013, the Ukrainian economy had foreign direct investment totaling $ 53 billion. By 2019, that figure had dropped to $ 36 billion. The annual inflow of investments decreased from 5.4 to 2.5 billion.

And according to the head of the State Tax Service of Ukraine, in the last three years alone, $ 22.5 billion was withdrawn from Ukraine, and money was withdrawn mainly to European countries - Great Britain, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Germany, Austria. As they say, the movement of capital is in both directions and the freedom of such movement is a double-edged sword.

Strengthened European integration of Ukraine sometimes has rather unexpected consequences. For example, in November 2020, the European Commission stated that Ukraine has already overtaken most of the EU countries ... in terms of the cost of electricity: in Ukraine, the average cost of 1 megawatt-hour is 40 euros, while the average for Europe is 24 euros.


Citizens of Ukraine also pay more for gas than their European neighbors. If on the spot market of the Dutch hub TTF in October 1 thousand cubic meters of natural gas could be purchased for 150 dollars, then Ukrainian citizens buy blue fuel from their own state at about 226 dollars per thousand cubic meters.

However, adherents of Euromaidan often say that “in fact, the Maidan did not stand for this,” and that difficulties are inevitable in the current situation. But what about the other strategic demands of the 2013/2014 protest - like fighting corruption?

Fight for the fight

At first glance, Ukraine is approaching this problem seriously and impressively. Over the past 7 years, a whole battery of anti-corruption bodies has been created: the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court. Over the past 6 years, the costs of maintaining these bodies have exceeded UAH 10 billion. The results - compared to the money spent - are not impressive. For comparison: from the sale and management of assets confiscated from exposed corrupt officials during this time, the state budget received ... 35 million. Even adding here another 450 million hryvnia of property that was arrested, but not yet sold, we will receive only about 5 percent of the amount spent on anti-corruption funds.

Not to see loud revelations, the very "landings", the absence of which Vladimir Zelensky often complains. The last high-profile case of this kind was the story of the purchase of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (even under Poroshenko) of a batch of backpacks from a company associated with the son of the Minister of Internal Affairs Avakov. In addition to him, the defendants in the case were Deputy Minister Chebotar and businessman Volodymyr Lytvyn (not to be confused with the Ukrainian politician of the same name).

The case ended in almost nothing. The charges against Avakov's son and Deputy Minister Chebotar were dropped, Lytvyn, who took all the blame, received ... two years probation and in September 2020 was released from punishment with a criminal record.

The situation has not changed too much under Zelensky. At the end of December 2019, the police opened a fairly large case of interfering with the work of automated systems of the then unified State Fiscal Service (now it is divided into two services: the State Customs and the State Tax). The list of defendants included Natalya Kalenichenko, director of the taxpayer service department, Elena Antipova, director of the department of taxes and fees for legal entities, and a number of smaller officials. They were accused of interfering with the information systems of the tax service with the help of programmers from a private company and modifying the data stored there by creating fictitious VAT credits. We are talking about the so-called twists - one of the corruption scourges of modern Ukraine, which cost the state budget,

Please note: such a high-profile and definitely corrupt case was investigated for some reason by the ordinary police, and not by the vaunted anti-corruption bureau. The result of the investigation, however, was even more modest than in the case with Avakov's backpacks, or rather, none at all. And moreover, the aforementioned suspect in this case, Natalya Kalenichenko, has now gone on to be promoted and is working as deputy head of the newly created State Tax Service for ... digital transformation!

Well, quite recently, a loud corruption scandal erupted in the Museum of the Revolution of Dignity: it turned out that of the 150 million hryvnias allocated to the museum for the construction of the Memorial to the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, 111 disappeared in an unknown direction.

And all this became clear just a few days before November 21 - the date of the celebration of the anniversary of Euromaidan!

And now watch your hands: in response to the accusations against the museum staff, in the Office of President Zelensky ... they reproached the law enforcement officers with the fact that, voicing such accusations on the eve of the holiday, they "do not contribute to public harmony in the state." "Was it really necessary to carry out these searches right now, even if the investigation considers them necessary?" - they are quite officially interested in Zelensky in a corresponding statement. It seems that the President's Office believes that there is a good time to expose corruption, and there is not a good one. Well, maybe, just all the previous 7 years were a bad time in this sense, and all that remains is to wait for the successful start.

Five years for a portrait of Brezhnev

And what about freedom of speech, that fundamental and, I'm not afraid of this word, sacred value, which was also defended at Euromaidan? And the situation with her is ambiguous. Western guardians of this very freedom, for example in Reporters Without Borders, argue that everything is good and, in a sense, even wonderful. For example, in the corresponding rating compiled by this organization, Ukraine has risen by as much as 30 places over the past 7 years: from 129th to 96th. From within the country, however, the situation looks a little different.

On the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada for a long time has been the draft law "On Media in Ukraine", developed by the Cabinet of Ministers. In it, among other things, the list of issues officially prohibited for coverage is directly fixed. For example, “materials containing the popularization or propaganda of the organs of the aggressor state, its officials, individuals and organizations” are prohibited (a definition that generally covers any materials in which Russia, Russian authorities or politicians are covered in a positive manner). For violators, as well as for those who violate other clauses of the document (for example, do not provide sufficient information about the ownership structure), there are fines, cancellation of registration and even blocking of broadcasting (including blocking access to the website).

However, so far all these are just projects. But other normative legal acts that directly affect freedom of speech already exist and are in effect, for example, the notorious law on decommunization, or rather, "On the Condemnation of the Communist and National Socialist Regime." But if the "national socialist" part of the law is not yet particularly used, then the "communist" part is being used quite actively, and the matter is not limited to just renaming streets, squares or entire settlements. In particular, on November 17, the Novotroitsk District Court (Kherson Region) sentenced a pensioner from the village of Askania-Nova to 5 years in prison for ... publishing Brezhnev's photo on her Odnoklassniki page. “When they ask me who Brezhnev is, I explain: this is a period in the history of the country,


True, she was released from a real stay behind bars, having postponed the execution of the sentence for a year of probation. But the woman will have to pay material costs in the amount of 11,500 hryvnias (for comparison: the average pension in Ukraine is about 3 thousand hryvnias).

Shortly before the celebration of the seventh anniversary of the Euromaidan, the largest Ukrainian sociological group "Rating" published the results of a study that showed that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian citizens do not believe that the country is moving in the right direction. This opinion is shared by 68 percent of those polled, and this is the worst indicator since the election of Zelensky. For comparison: similar indicators (64-71 percent) were recorded by sociologists on the eve of Euromaidan, slightly higher (68-78 percent) - during the reign of Petro Poroshenko. And this, perhaps, is one of the most important conclusions, which is appropriate to complete the article on the 7th anniversary of the Euromaidan: what then, what now, the citizens of Ukraine for the most part do not believe in a better future for their country.

And practice shows that in this sense they have not yet been mistaken.



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